Pleasing on a lot of levels is how Frank Lampard analysed the Carabao Cup tie against Grimsby Town which was won 7-1, although not everything was to his liking.
A 20-minute period in the first half which stretched from our League Two opponents scoring until Pedro restored a two-goal advantage from the penalty spot concerned the boss, as did some initial instructions that went unheeded, but overall he could be happy with our progress to the next round, not least because it was achieved with another young team selection. It was our record home win in the League Cup competition.
Lampard also admitted it sounded like a strong reaction to have complaints when your team has won by such a big margin but added:
‘At half-time I was not very happy with the game. To concede the goal that made it 2-1 was a disaster because I showed them it was a huge threat, the long ball and the second ball in behind, and conceding that made us a bit nervous. So it is good for the young players in particular to see that small details, if you don’t watch the video we show before the game and realise the danger, can cost you. It was fine tonight because we won 7-1 but against Liverpool we lost the game because of small details.
‘I am pleased we had some players who had not been playing so many minutes, and players who are young who started the game with some debuts given. And the two young lads who came on in the second half [Ian Maatsen and Tino Anjorin] improved the team which is great to see. So there were some nice minutes and a nice comfortable win having not won at Stamford Bridge before that, so on those levels I am happy.
‘The young players have deserved to get into the team. From Billy Gilmour it was a fantastic full debut, he ran the game from midfield. Marc Guehi was solid and they have deserved their starts from the way the way they train with us and the way they play for the Under-23s. They have been outstanding this year. The young boys who came on as subs are still really young and they showed their comfort on the ball. Now the hard work really begins to try to get in there regularly and show they are worthy of being in the squad.’
Reece James at 19 years old made his Chelsea debut and scored a goal and supplied two assists.
‘His game will get much better,’ insisted Lampard. ‘He has been out a long time and he has only played minimal minutes in the Under-23s, but Reece’s performances last year at Wigan when he was in the Team of the Year in the Championship showed the talent he has got and he is going to be a big player for this club. He has got a great player and person to look up to in Cesar Azpilicueta who is in his position. He showed his real quality on the ball today so that is just the start for Reece.’
Callum Hudson-Odoi was back following his recovery from his Achilles rupture and scored the last goal of the game.
‘In the first half. With Callum and Christian Pulisic as wingers, the message was to hurt the Grimsby line and run in behind and end up in areas inside the box where you are taking people on,’ pointed out Lampard. ‘It wasn’t happening and at half-time the message had to be reinforced pretty strongly. In the second half we managed to get in better positions. Callum’s talent means he has to work hard to run behind people, to get at people and be inside and outside and work off the ball. That is where he needs to learn, because if he wants to be in the team week in week out that is what he will have to do.’
With Olivier Giroud having been ill recently, Michy Batshuayi was given the centre-forward slot and Lampard is pleased the Belgian has responded to a call to improve his fitness. He scored two goals against Grimsby.
‘He has worked hard and trained well. He came on at Wolves and made an impact, came on against Liverpool and nearly made an impact and that is great for me when you give a message and someone shows they can train daily and improve there. Michy has talent, he can hold the ball up and use both feet and can score goals, and he is important for us. He got his chance and scored goals tonight which is good because we need options up front.’
Ross Barkley, who missed a penalty last week, was on the pitch but Pedro was the taker tonight.
‘The good thing about my job is I can choose who does things and I chose Pedro to be the captain and take the penalties tonight and he took it and scored,’ said Lampard.
While discussing the Grimsby game, the boss was informed we had drawn Manchester United in the next round.
‘Two big teams. I am pleased we are at home. A lot can happen in football in a short time and this next round of the draw is not coming tomorrow. Man United have good players and they beat us 4-0 at the start of the season, albeit it was not like a 4-0, so it is going to be a tough game.’